It's the same size and shape as a microcassette recorder, but the sleek Panasonic SV-AS10 ($300 street) does more than record 10 continuous hours of MP3 sound. It's also a modest digital camera, with a rotating lens that records 2MP image files onto SD memory cards. The SV-AS10 offers a 1.5-inch LCD monitor, built-in flash, four-way toggle control, and the ability to record 320x240-pixel QuickTime movies. Other features: 2-1/2000-sec shutter speeds, close focusing to 1/2 inch, ISO 100-400 settings, exposure compensation to ±2 EV, and sepia and black-and-white modes. It's available in three wardrobe-coordinated colors-orange, blue, and silver. And, at a svelte 4x2x0.5 inches, you can slip it in your shirt pocket and take it anywhere for casual snapshooting. (Panasonic; 800-211-7262; www.panasonic.com/d-snap).
A Lightstand Boom
Need support for your studio lights? SP Studio System's four-section Combo Boom/Lightstand ($90 street) is more versatile than a conventional telescoping pole. The five-pound SP Boom/Lightstand will hold a monolight and umbrella assembly as high as 10.5 feet. Because one section can tilt 90 degrees, you can also position its uppermost piece horizontally to function as a boom arm (as shown). With a counterweight, the boom arm can even handle a heavier hair light. (BKA Group; 800-250-8394; www.bkaphoto.com)
The Finishing Touch
For some photographers, a photo isn't finished until it's framed and hung on a wall. If that sounds like you, check out Logan Graphic Products' new Frame-It-Yourself system. Available in an inexpensive Hobby and sturdier Pro line, its tools include a miter saw for cutting molding to 45 degrees (F100-1, $75 street); a sanding wheel for smoothing joints (F200-1, $170); a joiner (shown) for stapling the frame together (F300-1, $100); and a fitting tool that fixes a matted photo within the frame (F400-1, $80). Did you flunk high-school woodshop? Logan provides free, step-by-step video tutorials. (Logan Graphic Products; 800-331-6232; www.logangraphic.com)